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Trying to beat charges, New Mexico man turns in his mother

December 03, 2012|By John M. Glionna

So, the cops nab you in some felonious act and you’re facing possible hard time — what do you do?

Confess? Plead the 5th Amendment? Call your lawyer?

Police say a New Mexico man did one better: He snitched on his own mom.

Vaughn Godwin, 27, arrested over the weekend on suspicion of vandalism and possession of methamphetamine, allegedly tried to wriggle off the hook by offering to turn his mother in to police. The Albuquerque man told investigators that dear old mom was selling marijuana out of the house they shared, police said.

Officers had responded to a call from Godwin’s home to find walls at the residence spray-painted and smashed. Godwin told officers he trashed the house because his mother refused to give him money and his medications.

Then he told police where mom was stashing the pot.

Albuquerque police told the Los Angeles Times that although many suspects struggle to make deals with investigators, turning in your own mother isn’t common.

“They’ll say anything. They’ll rat each other out, hoping officers will forgive their discretion and release them,” Albuquerque police spokeswoman Tasia Martinez said. “People are often very desperate not to be arrested and charged, especially when facing hard time.”

Most times, she says, the ploy doesn’t work.

Martinez told of one wanted sex offender who was arrested after chasing his girlfriend down the street following a domestic argument. “When police collared him, he said, ‘You guys should be arresting her — she’s harboring a felon’ — and that felon was him,” Martinez said.

Godwin also lost his bet: Police refused to drop the charges.

“In this case, I can’t speak for the dynamics of that domestic relationship,” Martinez told The Times, “but hardened criminals are not criminals because they have a great moral compass.”

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john.glionna@latimes.com

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